A great man once said, “If you want to hide knowledge from a black person, put it in a book.”
Dear Nigerian Student, Parent, and Fellow Citizen,
Part 2 continues from where we stopped. This time I wish to draw your attention to the damaging characteristics of our so-called leaders, and the costs to our collective well-being. I wish to open your physical and spiritual eyes to the realisation that Nigerians of all ethnicity have a lot in common, and marginalisation is not limited only to the Igbos and minorities, but most especially, the northern citizens oppressed by their elites. You may find this difficult to believe – just read on and make your own mind.
I want to raise an army of concerned students, NORTH and SOUTH, to bring down the kingdom of darkness in our country and set free the full potential of the Nigerian nation for this and future generations. Please join me in this noble cause.
Yes, We Can! Thank you.
- THE DIVIDE AND RULE POLITICIANS ARE STILL HERE
Let me remind the youth of Nigeria today, and particularly yourself; the political, social and economic situation facing Nigeria this moment is worse than in the 1960s, which fuelled the 1966 military coup. The leader, Major Chukwuma Kaduna Nzeogwu, still speaks from his grave, 50 years on:
“Our enemies are the political profiteers, the swindlers, the men in high and low places that seek bribes and demand 10 percent; those that seek to keep the country divided permanently so that they can remain in office as ministers or VIPs at least, the tribalists, the nepotists, those that make the country look big for nothing before international circles, those that have corrupted our society and put the Nigerian political calendar back by their words and deeds.”
Nigerian politicians, north and south, sow seeds of enmity, terror, mistrust, fear, tribalism, and religious tension to keep Nigerians permanently at each other’s throat while they act unchecked. In public, they project an image of political rivalry and hate for each other. This ignites tribal and religious sentiments across the country.
Please note: All past and present governors, presidents, senators, top government officials and looters of our national treasury, love themselves as was obvious at the Buhari and IBB daughters’ wedding and the burial ceremony of Obanikoro’s mother. Behind closed doors, they are unified, in love, and comrades at squandering the collective wealth of the Nigerian nation.
To cover their tracks and sustain a strong hold on the Nigerian state, they recruit and finance an army of spiritualists and prayer warriors, marry themselves, and plant surrogates across strategic arms of government, the judiciary, and the national security agencies. We become slaves in our homeland.
The IBB daughter’s May 2017 Minna wedding exposed these politicians, and their associates, for who they are. Of the over 30 private jet owners at the wedding, very few “have any sort of productive business venture that generates and sustains jobs in Nigeria” (Wale Odunsi, Daily Post). Some Nigerians almost suffered a heart attack seeing public arch enemies hugging and kissing at the wedding ceremony. Bola Tinubu sat cheerfully beside Goodluck Jonathan; Ali Modu Sheriff and Ahmed Markafi stood together; Governor Ganduje and Kwankwaso sat inches apart; the voices of Bukola Saraki (a Muslim) and Yakubu Dogara (Christian) could be heard screaming for those expensive wines; photographs of Yoruba, Hausa, Fulani, and Igbo politicians under one roof, without any visible signs of tribal or religious tension, triggered a Nigerian to smash his mobile phone thinking the photos were being falsely generated by a virus.
Please note: this is not a criticism of IBB and the daughter’s wedding; it is their right and our national/religious custom. At a personal level, IBB is a compassionate human being, loves people, and a factor in the crowd of dignitaries at the wedding. For example, he once rescued me from being lynched by late Mr. Dankaro (at his Ikeja GRA home) for my silly behaviour towards a sister-in-law. For my sake, IBB calmed the situation and relocated their scheduled meeting to a different venue. How I wish, Nigerians of today can be rescued by a God send as I have been most of my life.
Here is part of a poem credited to Prof. Wole Soyinka that summarises the predicament of average Nigerians and raises an important question to every true Nigerian:
The Ibos want Biafra
The North wants Ibo’s exit
The Yorubas want Ibo’s exit
The Ibos are saying “we have investments in your areas and cannot leave them”
And the fight is being cooked.
Amongst all these, the President is in London
Governors are sharing bailout funds
Workers’ salaries are not paid
Government officials have their children schooling abroad
Ministers and senators are looting
The poor Hausa man is riding Okada
The poor Ibo man is riding Okada
The poor Yoruba man is riding Okada
The poor Hausa man sleeps under the bridge as Alamajiri
The poor Yoruba man sleeps under the bridge as Alaye
The poor Ibo man sleeps under the bridge as agbero
Why can’t you and I love ourselves?
Why can’t we combine efforts and fight them?
Why do we fight ourselves?
WHY DO WE ALLOW THEM THE FREEDOM WE DON’T HAVE?
The point being made here and my question to you, north and south, is this – Why continue to support and die for this breed of politicians, their cartel, lies, corruption, deception, incompetence, and hateful self-enriching ideologies that keep Nigeria permanently in crisis, insecurity and economic meltdown? Why can’t you and the poor masses of Nigeria, north, and south, love each other, unite, and reject the kingdom and power of these enemies of our collective progress?
With a united effort from all Nigerian students and graduates, we can retire these accidental and self-enriching politicians from the national political scene for good. Students across the world have and continue to play a part in bringing down corrupt and incompetent governments and politicians through loud voices of opposition, personal education of friends and relations on national issues, and overwhelming ballot box presence. These tools are within your reach – use them!
- RESTRUCTURING AND FISCAL FEDERALISM VRS ZONING OF PRESIDENCY
Northern Nigeria presents a powerful case study for students of Economics, Business Management, Political Science and the agitators for new sovereign states. THE LESSON – Resource control without patriotic and capable leadership delivers nothing but few fat cats, mass poverty, and untold human suffering.
Watch this! The North occupies 70% of Nigeria’s land mass with a huge advantage in terms of agriculture, raw materials, and livestock. Not so long ago, and before the resource curse (oil), northern Nigeria was home to most of the best textile companies in West Africa and famous for groundnut pyramids, cotton, maize, guinea corn, vegetables, and millet. In every measure, the north was the breadbasket of the nation. Agriculture provided sustained employment for the vast majority of northerners and reduced poverty.
“Moreover, the north is rich in mineral resources; far richer than the South” – gold; uranium; tin-ore; columbite; iron ore; gypsum; limestone; etc. There is Hydroelectricity from Kainji Dam and Shiroro Gorge, and game reserves in the North including Argungu, a potential money-spinner for tourism (Vanguard, 14 March 2014). Northern states like Bauchi, Borno, Sokoto, and Niger have the potential to one day becoming oil-producing states. Therefore, the north has huge potential contrary to what some in the south may think.
However, following the oil doom, and with the North allocating self over 80% of Nigeria’s military installations, military presence and federal industries (Chidi Eze, Houston, TX), and over 85% of oil blocks in the Niger Delta, it fell asleep. It abandoned the drivers of its glory days in favour of oil rent millionaire and billionaire, and wealthy presidents, professors, politicians, and generals. Today, almost all but the few rich northerners remain beggars (Chief Kokori) for several reasons including:
- “Northern politicians and military leaders have been the bane of the North and of Nigeria.” They have grown fat at the expense of the poor. They deliberately kept the northerners poor, uneducated, ill-informed and preferring to feed them from the crumbs falling from their table (Vanguard, 11 March 2014).
- The northern elites fail to fully appreciate or recognise the degree of abject poverty and human suffering in the region.
- Abandonment of their northern heritages that established the region on the map and as the heartbeat of the Nigerian nation to over-depend on oil rent and federal government handouts.
- “Politics has become the most lucrative profession in the north, luring away some of their best (and worst) brains from other productive ventures.” While youths in the South will likely find career role models in many professional bankers, businessmen or workers in the oil industry. To the northern youths, the ultimate ambition will be joining politics (Sa’ad A Jijji).
- Insatiable appetite for leadership positions (president, director, governor, general manager, etc.) with little or no skills or adequate experience – leading to poorly and selfishly run private and public establishments, ruining of lives and destinies.
- Over-rating and dependence on political and military power as a certain and only route to catch up to the south; hence the do or die attitude to zoning the presidency to the north. This comes with the “false assumption that if a Northerner is in power, the fortunes of the average Northerner will improve… If political leadership leads to economic success, the North would have been the richest region in the country. In fact, Katsina state, with its enviable political, civil service and military fortunes, should have been the richest state” (Sa’ad A Jijji).
- Political power is controlled by vastly incompetent and selfish cabals and influential spiritual godfathers to the exclusion of highly qualified, articulate, moderate, and intelligent northern citizens who could have made a significant difference in the development of the region and Nigeria in general.
- Politically and religiously motivated terrorism and violence have painted the north as a dangerous region to do business long-term.
- These factors have created room for others to castigate, malign Northern Leaders and demonise the North in general because they chose to abandon their heritages (Sa’ad A. Jijji).
So, while Ndi-Igbo have a legitimate claim of marginalisation, the fact remains that our northern citizens are perhaps the most marginalised and misinformed of all groups in Nigeria by their own elites. This has generated a ready, regular, willing and misinformed supply of Boko Haram and Herdsmen terrorists. Restructuring and fiscal federalism have the potential to restore the glory days of the north, reduce the current level of poverty and human suffering in the region, and restore confidence, respect, and credibility.
Restructure entails “a return to the constitution at independence which our founding fathers bequeathed to us”. That constitution allowed states or regional autonomy in the management of affairs. The states or regions will be federating units with the right to have their own constitution. They will have control over their own resources and make agreed contributions to the federal government for general services.
The youth of the north, not the old men I see on video parading as youths, should act swiftly to arrest the excesses of their leaders. They need the support and goodwill of their southern compatriots.
- THE ARROGANCE OF NORTHERN AND SOUTHERN POLITICIANS
However, “the same arrogance of power, insensitivity and atrocious impunity that were at play then (events of the 1960s) are still very much in play today. The same section (North) of Nigeria that rejected the outcome of Aburi is still shutting down the strident calls of most people of Nigeria for restructuring today because command and control are more important to them than equity, justice, fairness, peaceful coexistence, harmony and a progressing country” (Afenifere – Yoruba Leaders).
Please note: Power domination, Islamisation agenda, corruption, mediocrity, embezzlement, and abuse of Nigeria’s oil wealth are the sole motivation for the unconstitutional pressure, by politicians, for zoning the Nigerian presidency. By zoning, they mean rotation of opportunity, between north and south politicians, to control and embezzle our collective wealth. It has nothing to do with leadership, national interest, and economic progress – hence Nigeria is bedeviled with intellectually challenged morons as leaders, no matter the title (traditional, religious or academic) they go by.
For example, it is on record that recently an Igbo group made a list of potential candidates for the 2019 election. If zoning the Nigerian presidency to the Igbos is about effective leadership, economic development, creative thinking, Reconciliation, Reconstruction and Rehabilitation of the eastern region, and shaped by the will of the people, it is extremely unlikely that many on the list would come anywhere close. It is one more evidence that zoning the presidency to the east will make no difference to the marginalised populace, or to the fortunes of Nigeria. Biafra agitation then continues. “The attempt by the political class, to use the agitation for secession to garner political appointment for themselves, while the core issues remain unaddressed, will certainly backfire” (The National Secretary of ECA).
Therefore, restructuring Nigeria for FULL FISCAL FEDERALISM seems the best option right now compared to, for example, negotiations for political appointees and zoning of the presidency to any region, or break up. The reasons are obvious:
- More than 50 years after independence and hundreds of billions of dollars of oil and other revenues later, the country remains insignificant in world affairs, poverty stricken, retrogressive on many counts, and the future remains uncertain for citizens – north and south. National unity is under threats, the education sector is permanently on almajiri state, the death traps in the healthcare sector have driven Mr. President to seek refuge in the UK, and the ability of regions to develop at their own pace has been severely constrained. Enough is enough.
- Nations, developing and developed, are restructuring and re-strategizing for competitive advantage. Universities and education systems, in general, are updating and redesigning programs and delivery methods to meet the demands of the highly competitive local and global markets. From Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Ghana, Botswana to Singapore, diversification of the economy, investment in high-quality education and information technology, and emphasis on world-class leadership continue to be prioritised. In Nigeria, we are rather being led back to the stone ages. Regions and races should have the opportunity to take their destiny into their own hands.
- The culminating actions of past and present northern led governments have sent shock waves across the entire Nigeria nation and shaken its foundation to an extent that the centre can no longer hold. The geographical boundaries of the north may alter significantly as the Middle Belt and others get increasingly fearful of their Hausa/Fulani neighbours.
- In the north, a southern graduate teacher is only employable as a contract staff. Irrespective of the number of years’ service, they can never be regularised as a full staff. One Nigeria?
- Despite high unemployment in Nigeria, most northern states prefer Egyptian and other foreign employees. “Egyptians are readily employed and given full benefits more than Nigerian graduates of southern extraction” (Taiwo Adisa, Tribune). One Nigeria?
- Over 70% of the states are incapable of paying salaries despite the bailout funds and the Paris Club refunds. States must be accountable, productive, self-sufficient, and in control of their own destiny.
- Many states are weighed down by the scale of ex-governors’ pension burden projected to run into billions of Naira for life (see the video in Part 3). This is not sustainable.
- The Nigerian education system has been strategically destroyed; and those responsible have established, financed, and are profiteering from expensive private schools in the north and south of Nigeria. Regional governments should have control over the education standards and contents for their own children.
- For example, I understand there is currently a draft NUC requirement that pre-qualifications for entry into management courses like Accounting should consider Arabic Language as equivalent to either mathematics or Economics. What kind of future graduates is the minister of education designing for the job market? Well, this is another evidence why regions should be autonomous and decide the student quality for their degree programs.
- With the irrational allocation of more states and local authorities to the north, there is a huge imbalance in the productive distribution of national revenues. Equally, there is unevenness in the balancing of political power necessary to patriotically, smoothly and swiftly respond to the challenges facing the Nigerian state. Chief Obafemi Awolowo’s opposition to this state of affair landed him in jail in the 1960s.
- We have a frightening situation where every strategic military position with the power to mobilise, issue weapons, control national borders, deploy and command troops or security agents, is headed by northern Muslims. Southern citizens, politicians, and Christians have genuine reasons to be concerned. This is a symbol of a fractured unity.
- The North has commandeered certain strategic federal government positions for life (e.g. FCT Minister, Controller-General of Customs, Chairman of EFCC, National Security Adviser, etc.) in a country where equality of the law, competitive spirit, meritocracy, and equal opportunity should be dominant to drive the fortunes of the nation.
- With impunity, the Fulani herdsmen “have taken over the entire Southern and Middle Belt of Nigeria, including invading the State House of Assemblies; cows going to classrooms and chasing children out of schools; killing farmers on their farms and raping their wives” (Southern Leaders).
- There is not only the menace of Fulani Herdsmen but also a proliferation of Fulani armed settlements in the South, indicating perhaps a strategic plan awaiting execution in the future. Are these the evidence of a future of unity, equity and justice the Southerners can believe in, or signs of impending calamity?
- We have a situation where the Israeli Prime Minister, Benjamin Netanyahu, was snubbed by the Nigerian government at a meeting of the ECOWAS heads of governments; simply because the Muslim north did not want anything to do with Israel (FKK). Nigeria is not an Islamic state; yet we must be plunged into diplomatic enmity with Israel (a strategically important world player, the seat of Christian faith, and the root of the Hebrew Igbo race) for the sake of the Muslim north. That’s suicidal and unacceptable.
- Though Nigeria is a secular state, its constitution is riddled (illegally) with Islamic signposts without any consultation or endorsement of the nation. For instance, in the 1999 Constitution, Christ, Christians, and Christianity are not mentioned even once; whereas Sharia is mentioned 73 times, Grand Khadi 54 times, Islam 28 times, Muslims 10 times, etc.” (FKK). Evidence of Islamisation agenda?
- For stability, prosperity, and security for all, the northern states must be restored to their glory days and a modern industrialised region by weaning themselves off the oil rent and cap-in-hand dependency.
- Finally, breaking Nigeria into SE – Biafra; North – Arewa; and West – Oduduwa, will hardly deliver the collective security, peace and prosperity we all hope for. Nigeria lacks good and patriotic leaders, but criminals, kleptomaniacs, corrupt, covetous and greedy ‘lootocrats’. These same people will reposition and re-strategize to hold onto power in the event of the creation of new sovereign states (Watch Man)
“To get rid of them, the masses must rise up in massive and well-sustained civil disobedience against these criminal leaders” (Watch Man), and through the ballot box. No politician can rig the will of a people determined to free themselves from political and economic slavery.
LET’S JOIN FORCES (NORTH & SOUTH) AND FIGHT FOR OUR DEAR LIVES!
The final part (Part 3) follows next.